Airports’ data processing malfunctions

The Associated Press
Wednesday October 25, 2000

SAN FRANCISCO — Outgoing flights were delayed at several Northern California and Nevada airports Monday because of a software malfunction in processing data from radar. 

The Federal Aviation Administration said the computer failure, which lasted almost six hours, occurred during regular maintenance early Monday morning. Mostly domestic flights were affected by the problem. 

“When the software was reinstalled, it wouldn’t come back up on time,” said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jerry Snyder. “It came back up on the third attempt at 7:50 a.m.” 

The software provides special “squawk” codes to departing flights, enabling airport controllers to track them in the air. The software, located in the FAA’s Oakland Center in Freemont, controls major Northern California and Nevada airports such as San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento and Reno. At San Francisco International Airport, nearly 120 flights were delayed. There were 38 flights delayed from Oakland, and 25 from San Jose. 

Last Thursday, massive delays to air traffic throughout mush of the western half of the United States resulted because of a failure of a main air traffic radar system in Los Angeles